FG Handling Fulani Herdsmen Menace With Kids Gloves – Bishop Ibezim
By Nedum Noble
The Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anambra state, Rt. Rev. Alexander Ibezim expressed worry over the increasing cases of insecurity across the country, particularly the Fulani herdsmen menace.
He accused the federal government of handling the issue of the Fulani Herdsmen menace with levity.
Delivering his Presidential Charge at the 2nd Session of the 11th Synod of the Diocese holding at St. Peters Church Amawbia, Ibezim, also berated the Buhari-led administration for allegedly reneging in failing in its anti- corruption crusade.
He alleged that the government was harbouring the actors in corruption field instead of fighting it to a halt.
He said, “It does seem the fight against corruption for which this administration was voted into power has slowed down, if not jettisoned.
“People had expected prompt prosecution and incarceration of offenders, to deter others, but what we witnessed was a situation where some key officials of this administration were involved in unwholesome acts, capable of tarnishing the image of government.
“The latter did not respond effectively or looked the other way, thereby eroding the confidence of the people in the fight against corruption.
“A government that is serious in fighting corruption should not engage in lopsided appointments, reducing some sections of the country to second class citizens or entrenching ethnic chauvinism in its policies.”
On the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen, the cleric said, “As Nigeria is still reeling from the Boko Haram insurgency and its numerous atrocities, the country plays host to another terrorist group as yet unrecognized.
“Fulani herdsmen, nomadic cattle grazers, have been named one of the deadliest terror groups in the world comparable to Boko Haram, ISIS, the Taliban and al-Shabaab. The group has wreaked enough havoc to be acknowledged by the global community as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world.
“Fulani herdsmen brutally kill natives of invaded farming communities including women and children in various states across the country.
“They are armed with sophisticated weapons and usually attack their target communities at a time they are most vulnerable such as at midnight or on Sundays when they are in church, killing people indiscriminately and burning houses and looting properties.
“Most worrisome is the brutality and impunity with which the assailants operate without regard for the law and the sanctity of life. The Nigerian Police and even the military seem powerless to defend the victims from being mercilessly slaughtered in their homes.”
Furthermore, he said, “It is unfortunate that this level of criminal impunity is happening in a sovereign nation with a constitution which declares that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be a major responsibility of the state.
“Perhaps we need to ask why the police and the military are incapable of protecting the farmers from violent attacks by Fulani herdsmen. Is it true that the Fulani militia is better armed and sometimes outnumbers the police?
“Why is it difficult for the federal government to contain the terror of the Fulani militia? Who are those arming the Fulani herdsmen to unleash mayhem on innocent and defenceless Nigerians?
“Nigerians are tired of speeches and condolence messages to victims. Lost lives are not retrievable. If this country will continue to remain one, then those who perpetrate crime must be dealt with accordingly without minding whose ox is gored.”
Ibezim who also lamented the hardship in the land, said Nigeria possesses a stark dichotomy of wealth and poverty, stressing that the disparity between the growth of the GDP and the increasing poverty was indicative of a skewed distribution of the country’s wealth.
Reeling other worrisome issues in the country, Bishop Ibezim concluded that “In the face of all this, it is unfortunate that with the first four years of the present Buhari administration winding down, there is still hardship in the land. The economy has not picked up, despite the claim that the country is out of recession.
“Prices of commodities and services are still not within the reach of the average Nigerian. Petroleum products are still sold without price control. Workers and pensioners are still owed several months by some states, making mockery of all the bailout funds and Paris club refunds.
“The Federal Government should monitor those states and bring pressure to bear on the governors to pay before going into the next election. Nigerian citizens should be made to feel and enjoy the impact of the billions of money in both local and foreign currencies recovered from corrupt officials.”